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Celebrating & Preparing For Your Big Day with OurWeddingDay.com Today is Wednesday, May 24, 2017

8 Reasons to Have a Small Wedding


If you’re on the fence about having a small wedding ceremony, you might like to know that there are a lot of perks to doing so. While a large and lavish wedding may seem like a dream come true, the realities that accompany such a large affair might not be worth the extra dough and energy. Explore the following reasons as to why an intimate wedding might be the best route for you.

1. Large weddings require a lot of energy and time to plan, which equals more stress. If you choose to have a small wedding, then you’re proactively cutting out unneeded stress during the planning process, as well as your wedding day.

2. Are you planning a wedding or a production? Large weddings typically have banquet captains and wedding planners behind the scenes equipped with headsets and walkie-talkies that coordinate each step in the production. Smaller weddings don’t require this type of manpower and reflect that by exuding a more personal and relaxed energy.

3. The most obvious reason to opt for a smaller wedding is because you’ll save money. Weddings, unless you go the extreme minimalist route, are expensive regardless of the size, however you’d be surprised at just how much you can save by cutting down the guest list. Every wedding guest requires an invitation, a meal, drinks, and a designated spot at your wedding; all of which comes at a cost.

4. If you have a smaller wedding, then you’ll be able to allocate more of your budget to your wedding getaways. How nice would it be to schedule a spa day a day or two prior to your wedding? Or going over seas to an exotic destination for your honeymoon instead of having to stay close to home?

5. There are countless romantic wedding destinations to choose from, but if you’re working with a small budget then you’ll most likely need to cut down your guest list in order to have your wedding at one. Destination weddings tend to be on the smaller side anyway, since a lot of wedding guests aren’t able to get away.

6. The fewer guests you have, the more time you’ll have to allocate to each guest. It’s proper wedding etiquette to visit with each guest at some point during your wedding reception and thank him or her for coming. If there are 600 guests at your wedding, then this respectful gesture becomes almost impossible.

7. If you opt to have a smaller guest list, then you can put more money into other aspects of your wedding, for example your wedding dinner. Having fewer guests could give you the opportunity to be choosey about your wedding food.

8. Fewer guests also means you’ll have more venue options to choose from. For example you could hold your wedding at a home, in a backyard, a park, vineyard, restaurant, art gallery, or perhaps an adorable bed and breakfast.

There are two (or more) sides to every aspect of your wedding planning, including the size of your guest list. The most important aspect of this decision is that you know the pro’s and con’s of each, so that you can make the right decision that fits your budget and wedding vision.

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The Beauty of a Small Wedding Reception


A wedding of about 50 or less is technically considered small, though many consider anything below 100 to be a small wedding. The beauty of having a short guest list is getting to have a small wedding reception. Some of the most quaint spots for weddings are designated small wedding venues, and you are pretty much unlimited when it comes to where you can have your wedding. Here are some things to think about with a small wedding reception:

  • Remember that you do not necessarily have to have dinner and dancing. Some venues—such as a small tea house and garden in Southern California—may lend itself more to dessert and coffee, or an elegant cocktail party outdoors. However, if you do have dancing, standard etiquette says that you need to serve a substantial meal. The two typically go together when weddings are concerned.
  • If you are having a small wedding, do not sacrifice elegance and attention to detail. You still want to make sure that the flowers are beautiful, the venue is classy, and that the food is delicious. Also, make sure that the venue has high standards of cleanliness. If you have your reception at a restaurant, make sure that it is conducive to wedding parties (for example, ask what their cake cutting/plating policy is).


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Profile of Bridal Photography Expert Karen Wise


When searching for the right wedding photographer it’s helpful that most credible photographers have websites. One photographer in particular, Karen Wise, has an impeccable reputation and an informative website full of winter wedding pictures, various wedding albums from India to California, as well as a personal blog and an interview with Karen herself. Visiting sites such as Karen’s will inform your idea of what you want out of your bridal photography for your big day.

When asked about her approach to photographing weddings, Karen had a lot to say. Karen’s goal when creating a wedding album is to tell a story, complete with a beginning, middle, and end. Karen began as a photojournalist, and a commercial food and still life photographer, which naturally influence her approach to wedding albums.

Another common question to keep in your back pocket when interviewing or researching wedding photographers is whether they prefer to shoot film or digitally. Karen loves shooting film, and her assistants shoot digitally, but she’s able to provide clients with scanned jpegs of the photos on a DVD.

It’s also important to ask photographers if they are insured. Karen has full liability insurance coverage, which is typically required for large venues such as hotels and botanic gardens. She’s covered up to 4 million dollars in liability.

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not uncommon to ask if you can pay in installments. Karen offers her clients the option of paying a security deposit on the day of hiring her as your official wedding photographer, half of the remainder ten business days before the wedding, and the other half is due when you receive proofs.

It’s smart to ask photographers if they have a time limit. Karen typically shoots for approximately eight hours, and any additional time requires an additional charge.

If you’re going to need engagement portraits, then why not ask photographers if they will provide those as well? Karen does provide engagement portraits, and she thinks it’s a great way to get to know her and for her to get to know you as well before the big day.

Chances are you might also need a videographer, which some photographers provide as well. Karen works with a few different videographers, one of which shoots Super 8MM movies, which tend to vary in length.

You know what else you’re going to need? Thank you cards! And yes, Karen also provides her clients, upon request, with 250 white cards with a color or black and white image of the photo the couple chooses for $375.

If you choose the right wedding photographer, they could very well be your one stop shop for all of your documenting needs. Take advantage of the Internet, and do as much research about your potential photographers as you can.

Online Wedding Planner: Check these To-Do’s Off Online


Whether you work a 9 to 5 or not, being able to check wedding tasks off your to do list online saves you time, gas, and energy. You even have the ability to replace a wedding planner/coordinator with an online wedding planner, if you are so inclined.

Before your fiancé even popped the question, I’m sure you, like most women, did a little online wedding planning. Perhaps you perused wedding ring sites? Even women whose engagement may not be anywhere in site tend to find themselves window-shopping on the Tiffany & Co. online store.

With the luxury of elaborate wedding planning websites like OurWeddingDay for almost any business out there, you’re able to search wedding venues and take virtual tours. This allows you to cut down your list of possible venues before even stepping foot on the property.

You can even design your wedding reception décor online. There are countless wedding blogs, wedding photos from the past, present, and future that will give you more ideas than you’ll know what to do with. Even if you hire a wedding décor designer you’ll have an idea of what you want before you even meet with them.

Other aspects of your big day included in online wedding planning:

  • Choose your wedding gown
  • Wedding photographer
  • Wedding supplies
  • Makeup and hair artists
  • Wedding playlist
  • Your honeymoon


DIY Wedding Photography: Creative Poses


If you and your hubby-to-be are creative and non-traditionalists, then you’ll want to come up with some unique poses that will ensure your wedding photos are as fabulous as you are. These are great poses for the bride and groom who go the DIY photography route—that way you aren’t stepping the toes of a wedding photographer.

Bride & Groom Poses

  • Find an activity (within reach) that you both love and have your photographer take photos of you both enjoying that hobby. For example, golf, or yoga. (In your wedding garb of course.)
  • Have your groom placed at the altar and glancing at his watch with an almost worried expression on his face. You could then do a series of shots with you entering into frame and your groom looking more and more relieved.
  • Lie down on the grass (make sure to place towels down so you don’t stain your dress!) and have your husband lay down so that the top of his head is touching your head for the perfect aerial shot.

Wedding Party Poses
Get a shot that’s reminiscent of the classic Beverly Hills 90210 aerial shot by having the entire wedding party lay on the grass with the top of their heads facing the circle.

Wedding Reception Ideas: Photo Booths


If you’re looking for a fun and practical addition to your already fabulous wedding reception, a photo booth is just what you need. If you’ve ever been to a state fair, chances are you’ve taken photos in a photo booth, and that you had a really great time! Photo booths have been popping up at weddings across the country due to their rise in popularity and a larger number of companies providing them.

A photo booth provides entertainment for your wedding guests and something fun for them to do in between dinner, dancing, and cake. Some photo booth companies can even provide you with WIFI enabled booths, which are capable of transmitting the photos to one or more large screens at your wedding reception mere minutes after the photos have been taken.

The photos also allow your guests to go home with a keepsake from your joyous wedding. Some photo booths offer two strips of photos, one for the guests, and one for your wedding album.

Wedding photography.
Take full advantage of the photo booth and knock out some of your bridal photography. How awesome would it be to have some fun and playful shots of just you, and of you and your husband photo booth style? This won’t necessarily take away from the professional wedding photographers job, but will supplement your wedding photo album with even more goodies.

Tips on Working with a Destination Wedding Photographer


If you are planning a destination wedding, you need to consider how you are going to communicate with your photographer. A destination wedding photographer is often used to working with couples at (sometimes) unfamiliar locations, but you need to make sure that you are both on the same page. Here are a few tips for working with your photographer:

  1. If possible, fly your photographer in to do your engagement photos. This allows you to meet your photographer before the wedding and to establish a comfort level by getting to know each other. If this isn’t possible, try to have at least a few phone conversations before the wedding, or perhaps even a video chat.
  2. If you are getting married at or near a beach, decide whether you want the ocean to be a backdrop for your photographs. Beach wedding photography involves some extra preparation on the part of the photographer, and you want to let her know beforehand.
  3. If you hire a destination wedding photographer through your resort, you may not have the opportunity to meet her before the wedding. If this is the case, remember that the best photographs are taken when you are just being yourself. Also, prepare a list of the types of photographs you want her to focus on (for example, you may want more romantic pictures of the bride and groom as opposed to people eating and dancing at the reception).

3 Bridal Photography Tips


The truth is that bridal photography is pricey, and an excellent wedding photographer is probably going to be one of the most expensive of all of your vendors. Here are some tips on getting your money’s worth when looking at wedding photography packages:

  1. Make sure that you have a detailed conversation as to the type of photographs you want. Upon seeing their photos, brides (or parents, depending on who’s paying) often complain that “there were no photos of each table of guests at the reception,” or “there was no photograph of the flower arrangement by the fireplace,” or “there was not a family photo with grandmother included.”
  2. You need to be very specific with your photographer as to what types of photos you want. Do you want the camera to be focused on the bride and groom? Are family pictures the most important? Do you want the photographer to focus on small details, capturing everything from the coffee bar to each centerpiece? Sure, there are some wedding photos that are standard, but in order to get the style you want, you need to be specific. Also, will your photographer have an assistant (or two)?
  3. Remember that wedding photography prices will vary depending on whether your photographer has to travel. It is usually cheaper to go with a local photographer, but if there is someone you have your heart set on, be prepared that he/she will probably factor in travel costs to the bridal photography rate.

Honeymoon Planning for Brides on a Tight Budget


Great honeymoon planning does not necessarily involve foreign countries, airfares, long flights, and hours spent in the airport. When you are planning a wedding, cash flow is typically at an all-time low. Down payments for DJ’s, wedding venues, to the caterer, and to the florist leave you wondering whether or not you should put your honeymoon planning on the credit card. If you want to fit your honeymoon plans into your wedding budget, consider taking a quiet weekend getaway.

Ideas for Getaways
Depending on where you live and how far you go, it will probably be less stressful to drive than to fly. If you live in California, you could take a 4-5 day road trip up the California coast and see lovely towns such as Malibu, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Carmel, and Monterey. You don't need to spend the night in each of these towns: you could just stop for lunch, coffee, or a walk on the beach. If you live in New England, you could take a trip through the White Mountains of New Hampshire, through small towns in Vermont, and end up in Acadia National Park in Maine. No matter where you are in the United States, the options are endless.

Remember that you can save more expensive vacations like Hawaii for your one-year anniversary. You can use your first year of marriage to save, and have a vacation to look forward to in a year!

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Selecting the Right Reception Venue


Choosing the right wedding reception venue is one of the most important decisions you’ll make—it sets the tone for the whole affair and is what most people will remember long after the big day.

Knowledge is Power
Unless you’ve been married before you probably aren’t aware of the options right at your fingertips. It wasn’t until my friends started getting married that I became aware of the ubiquitous wedding venues spread out all over my hometown. Ask friends, family, and search online. Make a weekend out of it with your fiancé and visit the venues on your list.

Comfort Comes First
Before you visit any of the venues on your list, make sure they will comfortably fit your wedding guests. Only search for small wedding venues if you’re having an intimate affair, and a larger space if you’re expecting one hundred plus guests. Intimate weddings often take place at the home of the bride’s parents. If your parents' home fits your criteria, then consider that an option.

Be Creative
Why not choose a venue that’s fun and fits your personality? As long as the venue fits your budget and will comfortably fit all of your guests and wedding vendors, then you are free to choose the inside of a barn or the rooftop of a swanky downtown hotel.

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